Head coach Kerry McCoy and the Maryland wrestling program announced the signing of seven-year-old Ryan Cole from Kensington, Md., at a Signing Day ceremony at the XFINITY Center on Wednesday.
Cole, who comes to the Terps via Team IMPACT, battles Dandy-Walker Syndrome, which he was diagnosed with in utero. Despite the condition, Cole has been able to keep active with swimming, horseback riding and running with his service dog. He will now attend Maryland practices, events and games throughout the season.
“Ryan is a real inspiration for our guys,” McCoy said. “To see him deal with everything he’s going through with a smile on his face really defines the word toughness. It has put things into perspective for the guys in our wrestling room. We’re excited to have the opportunity to have Ryan as a member of our program.”
After signing his letter of intent, Cole met the media for his first official press conference as a Terrapin. He discussed his nicknames, his favorite sports teams and athletes.
Team IMPACT is a national nonprofit headquartered in Boston, MA that connects children facing serious or chronic illnesses with college athletic teams, forming life-long bonds and life-changing outcomes. Since 2011, Team IMPACT has matched more than 1,200 children with more than 450 colleges and universities in 46 states, reaching over 35,000 participating student-athletes. The child joins the athletic team and the student-athletes join the child’s support team. Throughout the journey, the child gains strength, camaraderie and support while the student-athletes experience lessons of courage, resiliency and perspective they can’t learn in a classroom.